Applying Knowledge in Real-Life Contexts Is Crucial

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Surendra GC is a highly accomplished educator and the CEO of Gyanjyoti Foundation under which one dozen educational institutions exist. He is also the President of HISSAN Dang. Sanskar Pathshala, a sister wing of Gyanjyoti Foundation located at Tulsipur, Dang, has been established with the aim of implementing progressive approach to teaching and learning. With over 20 years of experience in education, Mr. GC has dedicated his career to providing high-quality academic programs and developing a nurturing environment for students from diverse backgrounds. He shares his insights and experience on teaching and learning with College Readers. Excerpts:

You are advocating progressive education with true spirit. How do we understand progressive education?

Progressive education is an educational philosophy that emphasizes the holistic development of learners and is rooted in the belief that education should be tailored to meet the individual needs and interests of students. This approach to education emphasizes the importance of active learning, critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity.

At its core, progressive education is student-centered, meaning that it prioritizes the needs, interests, and abilities of the individual student over the traditional, teacher-centered approaches to education. This approach emphasizes the importance of building positive relationship between the teacher and the students, creating a supportive learning environment, and providing opportunities for students to take an active role in their learning.

What specific features can students learn from progressive education?

Progressive education focuses on developing a range of skills and competencies in students beyond the mere academic knowledge. Here are some specific features that students can learn from progressive education:

  • Critical thinking skills: Progressive education emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills in students, encouraging them to question assumptions, analyze information, and solve problems.
  • Creativity: Students are encouraged to be creative in their approach to learning, and to explore new ideas and ways of thinking.
  • Collaboration: Progressive education emphasizes the importance of collaboration and teamwork, helping students develop social skills and the ability to work effectively with others.
  • Self-directed learning: Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning, setting goals and taking an active role in their education.
  • Adaptability: Progressive education emphasizes the development of adaptability and flexibility, helping students to be better prepared for the constantly changing world.
  • Emotional intelligence: Progressive education emphasizes the importance of emotional intelligence, helping students develop self-awareness, empathy, and social skills.
  • Civic engagement: Progressive education encourages students to become active citizens, engaging in community service, civic education, and social justice issues.

Education should incorporate knowledge with skill, cultural values, social attitude, technology, innovation, and application. To what extent have you implemented such attributes in your institution?

Sanskar Pathshala, Dang has incorporated skill-based learning into its curriculum by providing hands-on, project-based learning opportunities that allow students to apply the knowledge they have gained in real-world contexts. We have also incorporated cultural learning by celebrating the diversity of our students and incorporating cultural experiences into our curriculum.

Sanskar Pathshala helps students develop a positive attitude by promoting progressive mindset, resilience, and perseverance, and by creating a positive learning environment. We have incorporated technology that provides access to digital tools and resources that enhance learning and support collaboration and communication. We foster innovation by encouraging creativity and by providing opportunities for students to engage in problem-solving and creative thinking. Our priority to learning is to provide opportunities for students to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world contexts through internships, community service, or project-based learning.

What message would you like to convey to the parents and the students?

I would like to request parents and guardians to be involved in their children’s education and support them in their learning journey. Encourage them to pursue their passions and interests and help them to develop the skills and competencies they will need to succeed in future. Remember that education is a partnership among parents, students, and teachers, and that by working together, we can create the best possible learning environment for our children.

I also advise students to take an active role in their education and be curious and enthusiastic about learning. Pursue your passions and interests, and do not be afraid to try new things. Develop your skills and competencies, and work hard to achieve your goals. Remember that education is a lifelong journey, and that every experience can be an opportunity for growth and learning.

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